Car Window Tint legal
Cars,  Auto Parts

Is Car Window Tinting Legal in Texas?

Whether it’s for privacy, looks, or sun protection, tinting your windows can be an effective tool to help you get what you want. Some DIY car windowing tinting isn’t legal. Each state has its own laws of what is legal. What about Texas?

In Texas, you can use tint on all your windows but tint level can be different depending on your car. Here are the types of tint you can apply.

  • Tinting Percentage Permitted
    • Front Window – 5 inches (or above your vehicle’s AS-1 line) of 25% VLT or more
    • Front Side Windows – 25% VLT or more
    • Back Side Windows – Any VLT level
    • Rear Window
      • Vehicles with both side mirors – Any VLT level
      • Vehicles without side mirors – 25% VLT or more

  • Tint Reflection Permitted
    • Front Window – Not more than 25% reflective
    • Front Side Windows – Not more than 25% reflective
    • Back Side Windows – Any tint reflectiveness
    • Rear Window
      • Vehicles with both side mirors – Any tint reflectiveness
      • Vehicles without side mirors – Not more than 25% reflective

Tinting can have many benefits and some downsides as well. We’ll discuss some of these below so you can decide if tinting your windows is something you may want to do.

Tinting – What is VLT?

VLT is Visible Light Transmission. So if your tint is 90% VLT that means 90% of visible light from outside can go through the window to the inside of the car. Most window tints will block UVA and UVB rays regardless of how light or dark they are.

The lower the VLT the less visible light can enter the window. In Texas, the VLT for the front side windows can go all the way down to 25%, meaning 75% of the outside visible light is blocked.

If you look at the picture further down in the article you can get an idea of how dark that is. Remember that just you choose anything between 25% – 100% VLT for the front side windows.

My opinion is that you want little to no tint on the front side windows so you can see better and avoid accidents. I personally would choose something above 50% VLT if I felt the need to put tint on my front side windows.

If you’re moving to California or New York your car tint can’t be below 70%, and each state has various levels allowed.

Windshield – What is AS-1 Line?

AS-1 Line

On your windshield, you should see the letter AS-1 near the top left side. Tinting can be above these letters. In Texas, you only tint 5 inches below the top of the windshield if you don’t have the AS-1 letters on your windshield.

If you do see the letters, then you can only tint above the imaginary line created across your windshield above the letters.

Texas Regulations To Know Before You Install Tinting

Here are additional regulations you should know before you have window tint installed on your car, so you can be in compliance with Texas law.

  • You can also apply untinted UV film to the front windshield if you want.
  • If you have side mirrors they should be able to see clearly 200 feet behind your vehicle.
  • Red, amber, or blue tint is not permitted.
  • If your original glass windows already have some tinting, the combined glass and tint percentage cannot be more than 25% VLT.
  • Law enforcement vehicles, medical vehicles, taxis, limousines, and buses are exempt from window tinting regulations.
  • You need to attach a tint label (sticker) to the driver’s side window at the rearmost bottom corner that states your tinted windows “Complies with TRC Chapter 547.”

You can ask tinting shops if they are using film that is certified for Texas. They should be able to clearly explain that film will comply with Texas laws and what type of film they carry.

Tinting your car can be helpful for privacy and protection from harmful UV rays. There are some good reasons you may want to tint your car windows and some reasons you may not. Let’s talk more about the pros and cons of tinting.

Types of Window Tinting

Types of Window Tinting

There are a variety of window tints available in the market from which you can choose the one, which suits your needs. Going to a professional tinting shop can give you the advantage of experience. They can provide you with first-hand knowledge of what films work best for your car.

Here are some films to consider:

  • Dyed window film: This film is made by engaging a dye layer between a protective polyester top coating and an adhesive layer. The top coating protects your glass from scratches and nicks, whereas the adhesive layer is firmly attached to the glass and sticks to it very tightly.
    • This type of tinting can block up to 50% of the sunlight. The main advantage of this type of film is that it has a very dark effect and is non-reflective in nature. Many individuals like this type of tinting as it gives a very aesthetic look to your car. It also saves you from the extra glares of the sunlight and the headlights of other cars at night.
  • Metalized window film: This film type has many layers with the base layer being the adhesive one which sticks to the glass. Then the layer is attached, which blocks the ultraviolet radiation. The last layer is the top coat which prevents scratches. This kind of tinting prevents 40% of light from entering your vehicle.
  • Hybrid tinting film: this film is designed in a way to give you the benefits of both the metallic and the dyed film. It has the layers of adhesive, dye, metalized and top coat bonded with a laminating adhesive.
    • It blocks up to 50% of the light. As it has a very high metal content, it helps in reflecting the light very effectively. It also reduces fading to a large extent and protects the interiors of your car for a longer period.
  • Ceramic film: this is a newly released option which constitutes an adhesive layer attached to a ceramic layer, which is thin and a top coat. This layer helps to darken the windows and blocking 30% – 40% of the light from entering your vehicle.
    • This new type of tinting has gotten a very positive response due to its special quality for allowing radio signals and its anti-reflective nature all in one.

Pros of Window Tinting in Cars

Benefits of Window Tinting in Cars

1. Shatterproof

There is always a risk of an accident even if you are too careful; it may be due to your negligence or due to that of the other driver. Damage and injury will be caused regardless of whose fault it is. Preventing such harm or reducing it to a minimum is a very vital step towards protection.

By tinting your car windows, you prevent the glass from shattering from an impact. When the windows shatter during an accident, the injuries from the shattered glass are very serious and painful. By tinting, you can protect your health and also that of your fellow passengers.

2. Keep it Cool

car window tints
Photo Credit:

We all face the scorching heat during summers, which makes it very uncomfortable to sit in the car. Driving long distances can prove to be a lot of hassle if you don’t have any tinting on your windows.

You adjust your seat to avoid the heat, and then the car turns making you face the heat again. You can have the type of window tinting according to your need which will reduce the heat by up to 60% so that you can be cool in your car without having to face the scorching heat.

3. Make it Scratch Free

Everyone faces this situation when you leave your car in the parking lot and later discover it to be covered in scratches when you return. Having the front glass scratch-free is very important for comfortable and convenient driving.

Scratches on the glass reduce your visibility, and the reflection of the sunlight may invite accidents. Tinting the car windows can prevent these scratches and nicks and keep your windows safe.

4. Easy Driving

It can be uncomfortable to drive when the sunlight shines directly in your eyes. There are panels attached at the top of the car seat to protect your eyes, but it largely depends on the direction of the sunlight at that particular time.

The best way to avoid this problem altogether is to have your car windows tinted for easy and comfortable driving. You can have fewer layers of tint in the front window for good visibility and extra layers to the back ones.

5. Fade Reduction

car windows tinting
Photo Credit:

We spend a lot of money on the interiors of our car, and we do hope for it to last for a longer period. The direct heat to the interior of the car can fade the upholstery and discolor the leather which we so dearly love.

Tinting helps to block the harsh sunshine and protects the interior of your car from cracking and warping. It will make the seats more durable and make your car look younger for a longer period.

6. Improves your Style

Every auto enthusiasts agree that window tinting in cars leads to the most stylish appearance of your car and will also make it stand out from the crowd. It will enhance the looks and design of your car and give it a newer look for a longer period.

There are many varieties of tinting available ranging from light to dark, which can make your car look elegant.

7. Better Privacy

As mentioned earlier, tinting is the best way to give you a low profile and let you drive around the town with privacy. No one will peek inside your car and invade your privacy.

car tints for windows
Photo Credit:

We have developed a habit of stashing our valuables out of sight so that it doesn’t gather any attention from outsiders. Now with the help of tinted windows, you can leave your valuables in your car with no worry of getting them stolen.

8. UV Rays Blockage

Research has proved that direct sunlight and the UV rays which come along with it are very harmful to our health as they cause skin aging and also skin cancer. It has been proved that 53% of skin cancers are caused due to exposure to harmful UV rays from driving for a long period. Tinting can prevent 99% of these rays and can protect our health by preventing skin problems.

The above benefits show that car tinting is very important nowadays which can prevent you from many problems by offering a simple solution. The different types of tinting give you the option to find the best window tint, as it is an essential automotive tool for your car now.

Find the best window tint for your car and open the world of many benefits for you and your car.

Cons of Window Tinting

You may not want to tint your car windows for several reasons. One reason is that tinting your car windows can go wrong.

  • If you a make applying the tint yourself it could make your car look worse.
  • You could apply the wrong level of light blocking tint. When you drive it may be difficult to see clearly during the day and especially at night. Accident could occur.
  • Window tinting may reduce the driver’s visibility too much for your state laws. If you get pulled over you may have to pay a fine and remove the tinting from your windows.
  • Buying cheap film can result in an ugly appearance when your finished. Bubbling, peeling, and scratching can occur during or after you install it.
  • Darkly tinted windows may make your car look more attractive but it may also attract law enforcement. They will want to see if you are complying with the law and being safe.
  • If you buy a car with dark tint, your insurance company may give you an extra expense because darkly tinted cars are more likely to get into accidents.

Final Thoughts

My truck has about 35-50% tinted windows in the back and the back window. I like how it keeps the car a bit cooler and stops people from peaking into the back seat. My front side windows and windshield are clear with some slight shading on the top windshield.

This setup works well for me when driving and looks fairly nice on my truck. If you are thinking about getting your car tinted consider stepping into a car or two that have tinted windows to get an idea of how dark you want to go.

Good luck and thanks for visiting